Greentea Design - Japanese Furniture, Asian Furniture, and Asian-inspired Kitchen Cabinets.
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Wood bookcases by Greentea Design

These quietly elegant bookcases and bookshelves add character to any space.

The Tall Kuryo Shelves feature a black lacquer finish and a look reminiscent of the Deco period.

And the asymmetrical combination of open shelves and closed compartments give a Zen feel to our Japanese inspired Dana Tea Chest.

For a more stately presence, our Display Cabinet provides a beautiful blend of visible and concealed storage. Originally meant as a China Cabinet, several customers have used it in there studies as a bookcase - it's perfect if you have some mementos that you want prominently displayed.

Click an image below for a closer look at each of our solid wood bookcases.

Shelving Design

You can mix and match the available book cases for a varied look.

Consider the combination of two Short Kuryo shelves flanking a Tall Kuryo Bookcase; or pair it with the Kuryo Bookcase with Drawers, or the Beiju Bookcase, to accommodate a variety of storage needs.

If you are seeking much more extensive internal storage and less shelf space, or simply want one of the most unique storage and display options you can find, then make sure to consider our collection of Tansu Step Chests or Mizuya Cabinets.

Hard to find black lacquer bookcases
We also have acquired several Chinese black lacquer bookcases in several styles and sizes.

Choose from an assortment of modern bookcases in simple or complex asymmetrical designs, all built from solid hard woods, and coated with fantastic lacquers.

Quantities are limited on these black lacquer bookshelves, so get them while they last!

History of Bookshelves:

Bookshelves: Practically everyone has one of some sort, whether they have books or not. Some of the simplest and most utilitarian furniture in the home, they take a fair bit of gussying up to look like anything more then what they are. However, how many people out there ever really think about the history of what is probably one of the most standard pieces of furniture to grace a home?

When books first started appearing they had to be inscribed by hand. As such these were highly prized possessions of only the very wealthy and religious institutions. Since their number was quite limited, books would likely be stored in special boxes designed for the purpose. Shelving for any larger quantity of books was usually unneeded.

As books became more common, especially after the invention of the printing press, so too did bookcases. Initially these were in the form of closed cabinets. These initial designs were what would soon turn into the standard book shelf design we have all come to know so well. Some of the oldest shelves in existence are located in Bodleian Library at Oxford University, in place since the end of the 16th century.

The Asian tradition took a rather different course. Books and bookshelves are common place in Asian homes and libraries now, but the bound book format was not the dominant one traditionally. The top down, right to left writing system in which many Asian languages are written was much more suited to a scroll or folded pamphlet mediums.

The storage of scrolls was generally done on shelves that were much deeper, and often partitioned into many square or rectangular spaces to separate and organize the scrolls. The shelving would then often be hidden away in a closet or placed in a private study. The minimalistic Japanese aesthetic, and the fact that scrolls cannot be displayed on shelves in the same manner as bound books are both reasons that the well laden bookshelf did not become a common display item.

The art scroll is one very common item that comes to mind when thinking of Asian art. The hidden shelves of a Japanese home where an important part of Japanese interior design. As many have heard, a traditional Japanese room features rotating displays of art work or flower arrangements within the Tokonoma (a small raised platform at one end of a room). Art was not to be constantly arrayed on display as this would overwhelm the viewer; instead art should be enjoyed sparingly on its own. The shelving discussed above was an integral part to maintaining a well organized art collection and deciding which piece to display next or what text to immerse yourself in.

Were it not for their dimensions, one of our contemporary bookshelf designs would be very much at home holding the Confucian Manuscripts of a Chinese scholar official or a collection of Bashō’s haiku owned by one of the samurai gentry of the Tokugawa era. Instead we have updated the classic bookcase designs so that they can blend in seamlessly in a modern home and will be an ideal size to accommodate a sizable collection of books or curios.

Greentea Design - Your online source for contemporary Japanese furniture, Asian furniture, and antique Oriental furniture.
We ship to Los Angeles and New York Tri-state area on a weekly basis
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